Saturday, March 17, 2018

Too Many Leprechauns

Written by Stephen Krensky
Illustrated by Andreasen
Published in 2007

Why we chose this book:
We are reading Irish folktales and books about St. Patrick and leprechauns in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Mom's Review

Bothersome leprechauns are tricked into leaving a town in peace; an explanation is given for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

I enjoy books where the tricksters are tricked, and this fits into that category. When the main character, Finn, returns to his hometown, he finds that leprechauns have been keeping everyone awake as they noisily create fairy shoes. Although Finn is warned that leprechauns are not to be trusted, he willingly incurs their ire. He hides their gold at the end of a rainbow, they agree to depart if he will reveal the gold's location. He does, they depart, but they decide to continue storing their gold at the end of the rainbow. Older readers may see through Finn's conniving, but will probably enjoy watching the leprechauns get hoodwinked even so. It was a fun read with T - he kept calling over to his dad, "This is all make believe," or, "This is pretend, Daddy," as we read.

Son's Review
(age 3 years)
T paged through this book on an unusually silent drive home from the library.

After reading:
Mom: If the leprechauns were keeping you awake, and you were really tired what would you do?

Son: I would play all day.

Mom: What if you were too tired and kept dropping your toys? How would you get rid of the leprechauns?

Son: I would use a sword and a shield. I would whap the sword on the shield. I think the leprechauns would think that is silly.

Mom: What would you do if you met Finn?

Son: I would climb a rock because I like rocks.

Mom: Are there any rocks in this story? Where?

Son: Yeah. When they find the gold.

Mom: Where would you hide leprechaun gold?

Son: I would hide it in my closet. I would hide it in Mommy and Daddy's closet and would say Don't go in there

Mom: Do you think the leprechauns would listen?

Son: No because the gold's in there and they want the gold!

Mom: Should anyone else get Too Many Leprechauns from their library?

Son: Cousin G!

Don't worry, I was a passenger
when I snapped this pic of T
on the drive home!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jamie O'Rourke and The Big Potato

Written and Illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Published in 1992

Why we chose this book:
For St. Patrick's Day. And we love Tomie dePaola.

Mom's Review

The retelling of an Irish folktale about a man who grows a giant potato.

Jamie O'Rourke grows a big potato, as the title indicates. He comes to do so by catching a leprechaun who grants him a wish instead of giving him a pot of gold. Jamie shares the potato with his neighbors who become so tired of eating potatoes that they offer to feed him and his wife if he will only promise to not grow another potato. Tomie dePaola's ability to make characters come alive with the simplest of drawings is what makes his illustrations so captivating. DePaola pairs his artistic talent with his storytelling expertise to enchant a young audience with this Irish story. This was a hit in our household!

Son's Review
(age 3 years)

Mom: If you caught a leprechaun, what would you wish for?

Son: I would wish for freedom like the Genie [from Aladdin].
(T is really enjoying Aladdin right now, so that's where this comes from.)

Mom: If you saw a giant potato what would you think?

Son: I would climb it.

Mom: What would you do if you met Jamie?

Son: I would climb a big potato with him. He would supervise me.

Mom: How did this book make you feel? What made you feel that way?

Son: Happy. It made me happy because of Jamie O'Rourke made me happy where he met a leprechaun.

Mom: What would you do if you met a leprechaun? Why?

Son: I'd give him my coins because leprechauns like coins.

Mom: Is there anything else you want to say about the book?

Son: Jamie O'Rourke is the laziest man.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How to Catch a Leprechaun

Written by Adam Wallace
Illustrated by Andy Elkerton
Published in 2016

Why we chose this book:
We are reading Irish folklore, leprechaun stories, and tales about Saint Patrick in preparation for St. Patrick's Day. I've seen a number of books about catching leprechauns, and this one was a New York Times bestseller, so we thought it might be a good choice.

Mom's Review

A wily leprechaun sneaks through various homes, evading traps and wreaking havoc.

There is not much to this book, but the leprechaun's antics are entertaining. The leprechaun makes all types of mischief, but is not caught in any of the children's creative traps. At the end, he says that one day a child will devise the perfect trap; the accompanying illustration depicts boys and girls engineering a new trap. Although I didn't think much of the book, it seems that it really got T thinking.  When I asked if he would catch a leprechaun, he excitedly answered and explained how. He was so eager to tell me his ideas that he could barely get his words out!

Son's Review
(age 3 years)

Mom: Do you think you would catch a leprechaun?

Son: Yeah, yeah, yeah.  And I, maybe I would catch a leprechaun in a coffee maker.

Mom: How would you catch him in the coffee maker?

Son: I would pick him up with pliers and tongs. And then I would drop him in the coffee maker.

Mom: What kind of mischief do you think a leprechaun might do in your house?

Son: Break toys...make a toys mess!

Mom: Did you have a favorite page in this book?

Son, pointing to a page with robots: Those robots are for protection.

Mom: How would you describe this book?

Son: I would describe's a leprechaun dance party book.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

Written by Debbie Levy Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddely Published in 2016 Why we chose this book: It is up against Dave the Potter: ...